I'm in rant-mode today...
This is a little snippet from a conversation I had recently (yes, I realize I’m a sarcastic little madam!).
Nosy acquaintance: “So, you two [that’s my boyfriend and I] are back together.”
Nosy acquaintance: “That’s great. So I guess I should buy a hat then!”
Nosy acquaintance: “A hat! I should buy one, shouldn’t I?”
Me: “Why? Why on earth does my relationship make you feel like you need to buy a hat?”
Nosy acquaintance: “Oh, come on. What’s it been? Three years. Surely he’s going to make an honest woman of you soon!”
Me: “So I’m a dishonest woman at the moment?”
Nosy acquaintance: “Oh don’t be like that. Just tell me when the big day is – we’d all love a day out!”
Ho hum. That’s just one example of the many times I’ve been asked why my boyfriend and I aren’t married yet. The questions – nearly always from friends and relatives who are already married – started after we had been together for all of, oh, six months.
No, this isn’t a rant about married vs. unmarried. It’s more of a random musing on why other people have a bit of an obsession with wanting their friends and relatives to be almost exactly like them.
My single friends are totally fed up of comments such as;
And then there’s the classic back-handed compliment:
“I don’t understand it. You’re great. Why can’t you find a boyfriend/girlfriend?”
And yes, these comments come from coupled-up friends and relatives.
My friends who are engaged assure me that the: “So, when are we going to hear the pitter patter of little feet?” questions start before you’ve even made it down the aisle. From, yep, you’ve guessed it, people who are married with children.
And I’m not even going to get into the competitive parenting nonsense that goes on if and when children actually do arrive!
Why do some people want me to march to the beat of their drum? Maybe getting married and having 2 children before the age of 30 was right for them. Doesn’t mean it’s right for me (and, given that I’m hitting the big 3-0 in just a few months and am both unmarried and child-free, it’s looking pretty unlikely that I’ll be following that particular route!).
Do the nosy couples seek validation of their lifestyle by assuming that all of their single friends are secretly sad and desperate for a relationship?
Do the relatives pressurizing couples to get on with starting a family ever think that a) it’s really none of their business and b) they’re potentially asking a really insensitive question?
Turning the tables and fighting nosy questions with a healthy dose of sarcasm tends to lead to me being accused of “protesting too much” – clearly I’m oversensitive to the whole marriage question and secretly want the boy to put a ring on it as soon as possible.
Maybe we’ll get hitched one day. Maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll have children. Maybe we won’t. Hell, maybe we’ll have children and not bother with the whole marriage thing. Or maybe we’ll get married and forget about the whole having kids thing.
Who knows what we’ll do in the future? But for now, it would be great if we could just enjoy the present without being asked about a five-year plan!
Sometimes I wonder if the marriage-obsessed questioners are maybe a bit bored. It sometimes seems to be less about my marriage (or lack thereof) and more about them wanting a “big day out” (or, rather more randomly, a hat).
Well, if you want a big day out, feel free to organize one. Don’t just sit there waiting for a wedding invite to drop through the door.
And, as the saying goes: if you want to get ahead…get a hat!